By: Jake Paderewski ‘23
Children everywhere put their naive minds at bay and get tucked in for bed time. Before drifting off to the land of their imaginations, many settle down and begin to listen to a “goodnight story.” For some it may be Doctor Seuss, others Shel Silverstein, but for the unfortunate – Margaret Wise Brown’s Goodnight Moon.
From the soft illustrations by Clement Hurd to the vivid lyrics by Brown, parents think that children seemingly fall asleep in the sweet rabbit’s infamous “great green room.” While on the surface this book is short and sweet, once inspected a little closer, the true story emerges.
This is first seen when one scans the first image, in which a rabbit is portrayed sitting in its bed. Upon further scrutiny, one can notice the clear foreshadowing giving away the rest of the book. Seen in the back are, in order of appearance in the book, the cow jumping over the moon, and the three little bears sitting on chairs, a comb, a brush, a bowl full of mush, a light, chairs, clocks, stars, air, and most revoltingly, noises everywhere.
On behalf of the children of the world, I would like to personally say that this is appalling. For if I were to sit down with my father as a child and read this I would be outraged. For starters, if I am reading a novel, I do NOT want to have the entire thing spoiled in five seconds. To even glance at the illustration would ruin the entire story-telling process, and not to mention the child’s night. I guarantee that after being read this, ninety-nine percent of the kids sit awake and stare at the ceiling wishing that they had parents who loved them, parents who did not dare to put them through a reading of the horrid Goodnight Moon.
After they finally get over that (after many years of counseling), they would still be upset about the discontinuities thrown about the book. As seen on page four, there are a pair of mittens and a pair of socks set up to dry, but as soon as you turn over page thirteen, the socks are nowhere to be found. And guess what? Turn to the VERY NEXT PAGE, and guess who’s back… the socks! The audacity! Also, wander over to page three and tell me what you see, because what I see is a chair with no “quiet old lady who was whispering hush,” who seems to have magically appeared by page six.
But, what is by far the worst sin this book has committed is the fact that the color pallets change on every single page. I know that almost every kid reading this book knows their color theory, so there is no doubt in my mind that they are disgusted with this aspect of Hurd’s illustrations.
After reading this too many times (even though one is already too many), I have concluded that this “book,” if I can even call it that, is overall horrible. Not a single person in this mortal plane would enjoy this. Overall, 0/10.
-Jake Paderewski ‘23